MTV Music (Yes, it has an API)

This post is more than 2 years old.

MTV launched a new music video service, MTV Music. The UI is rather nice. Maybe it's the old man in me but I love the large, super obvious search box. They also allow for embedding...

What surprised me though was the lack of depth. I mean I was kind of pushing it with some non-popular choices (Control Machete, Chapterhouse, Shelby), but this is MTV! They should have something like 2 trillion videos in their vault. They had all the 'expected' alternative videos (Cure, Depeche Mode, etc), but anything a bit too far out there was absent. Shoot, they didn't even have Siouxsie, and any music site without the Banshees is sorely lacking. I can certainly find everything at YouTube.

Anyway, my excuse to bring this up was to point out that they have a nice API: MTVN Content API. Let's see who can get the first CFC wrapper done.

Hey - maybe if this Internet thing works for em, they could try it on TV as well. Imagine it - a whole TV station that did nothing but play videos. Nah, that wouldn't work.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by DanaK posted on 10/28/2008 at 8:13 PM

yeah out of like 20 non-mainstream searches, Hum was the only band that came up that I wanted to watch. Pretty bad for the once main outlet of video based music.

I noticed the full screen never worked for me either. It kept the audio in sync, but just took a snapshot of the last part of the video when I hit full screen and just put up a stationary (pixelated) image. weird.

Comment 2 by Josh Orvis posted on 10/29/2008 at 5:22 PM

I don't mean to be rude, but this *IS* MTV - did you seriously expect anything other than crappy modern pop music to be available?

Comment 3 by DanaK posted on 10/29/2008 at 5:32 PM

maybe you're too young to remember when mtv was decent? ;)

Growing up they used to play a lot of stuff I liked late at night, back in the late 80s, early 90s before they became a wasteland of reality tv and bubble gum pop

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 10/29/2008 at 6:12 PM

@Dana - Trust me, I do remember when MTV played music. I've mentioned it numerous times before on the blog, so I didn't want to go down that track again. ;) I discovered many bands on 120 Minutes.

Comment 5 by Sid Wing posted on 10/29/2008 at 10:13 PM

Gotta luv us "MTV-Old Timers" that remember when MTV was the ONLY music video channel and actually had a GREAT repretoire of videos.

[Now if CMT or GAC came up with an API - I'd be in hog heaven. {grin}]

Comment 6 by DanaK posted on 10/29/2008 at 11:40 PM

woops...ray comment was at josh!

Comment 7 by Matt Gifford posted on 10/30/2008 at 8:51 PM

Hey Ray!

Thanks for putting out the news on the API.

I've started work on a CF wrapper, which I'll be releasing soon. A slimline demo can be seen on the project page:

Cheers guys!

Matt (aka coldfumonkeh)

Comment 8 by Raymond Camden posted on 10/30/2008 at 8:56 PM

I'm sorry Matt. According to the license agreement for ColdFusion, only Raymond Camden is allowed to write CFC wrappers for services. Please stop immediately and send all code to Raymond.

(Kidding - be sure to submit to RIAForge!)

Comment 9 by Matt Gifford posted on 10/30/2008 at 8:58 PM

damn, they should have told me that. Time to update the CC license, and have a word with Adobe! :)

Cheers, matey

Comment 10 by MikeG posted on 10/31/2008 at 10:47 AM

@MTV-Oldtimers - I do miss the Headbangers ball! has the real music loaded already; Dio, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Judas Priest, Anthrax. What I want to know is why, now that y'all are old guys you admit to listening non-mainsteam bands from the 80's? - you woulda switched the channel so fast in high school/college had one of your buddies walked in the room [biggrin] that you woulda broke the remote.

Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 10/31/2008 at 3:18 PM

@MikeG - I'm a bit confused. Are you saying we would not have admitted to liking indie bands in high school? I know I did - although I was only a little bit into indie then. It was more late high school/early college where I got a proper 'education' into good music.

Comment 12 by MikeG posted on 11/1/2008 at 12:38 AM

@Ray - yep, indie music is like scotch - an aquired taste. In high school/early college you woulda never got caught listening to anything other than mainstream - woulda been "quite time" listening.

BTW, got a chance to check out Matt's CFC - nice work Matt

Comment 13 by Matt Gifford posted on 11/2/2008 at 5:38 PM

@MikeG - Thank you very much, Mike. I hope you find it useful. I'm very pleased with it, and am looking forward to extending it in the near future. :)

Comment 14 by jax posted on 11/4/2008 at 2:29 PM

The problem with MTV has always been ( and still is) that it is too American. Even the european version suffers from this problem. :-)

Comment 15 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/16/2009 at 3:38 AM

Ugh. So much for the API:


Comment 16 by Matt Gifford posted on 2/17/2009 at 1:48 PM

Yeah, I wasn't overly impressed with their post about this.

The API could have been a fantastic service, but restricting it to the extent of forcing users to view videos on their site and not allowed embedded videos is just sad and ridiculous. For all of those people who have spent time developing and API interface, be it web-based or a desktop application, it's been a waste of time.
MTV should know better. You can understand the licensing laws for videos, but it's still a damn shame.